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Life sentence reinstated for York County man who drowned wife

Joseph fitzpatrick

Joseph Fitzpatrick III

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — The York County man convicted and later acquitted in the murder of his wife in 2012 had his life sentence reinstated Wednesday by a judge in the county’s Court of Common Pleas, the York County District Attorney’s Office confirms.

The latest ruling comes eight months after the PA Superior Court reinstated Joseph Fitzpatrick’s first-degree murder conviction for the death of his wife, Annemarie Fitzpatrick — who drowned in a creek on the property the two shared in Chanceford Township. The Superior Court found that the evidence at trial supported the jury’s finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Joseph, who prosecutors say faked an ATV crash to make his wife death appear accidental, was found guilty by jury in May 2015 and was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole. Fitzpatrick’s defense attorney, Chris Ferro, immediately filed a motion for acquittal and it was granted on September 1 of that year.

Later that month, Fitzpatrick made bail but that was short-lived as the state appealed the judge’s acquittal to the PA Superior Court — the court ordered him to return to prison four hours later.